Devotional Thought for Today – 12/01/2022

GALATIANS 1

Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: The apostle Paul asserts his apostolic character against such as lessened it. (1-5) He reproves the Galatians for revolting from the gospel of Christ under the influence of evil teachers. (6-9) He proves the Divine authority of his doctrine and mission; and declares what he was before his conversion and calling. (10-14) And how he proceeded after it. (15-24) I also recommend reading John Gill’s introduction to Galatians.

We find two things of note in the lead-up to our main text for today. The first is Paul’s usual introduction, in verses 1-3. Then in verses 4-5 we have the unequivocal statement that establishes eternal life or hell; who (Christ Jesus) gave Himself [as a sacrifice to atone] for our sins [to save and sanctify us] so that He might rescue us from this present evil [a]age, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father— to Him be [ascribed all] the glory through the ages of the ages. Amen. (AMP) We are reminded that without Christ, God’s will and purpose, and plan for each of our individual lives we are doomed to everlasting damnation. Accordingly, God is worthy of all Glory, Honor, and Praise.

Most commentaries and modern Bible translations group our main text under a heading something like Perversion of the Gospel or No Other Gospel. Keeping in mind what Paul has just said in v.4-5 he then declares how amazed he is that the Galatians are so soon chasing after false doctrines/Gospels, v.6. In saying this Paul is really stating an oxymoron as he points out in v.7 declaring that there is no such thing as any other Gospel.

The most convincing argument (in my opinion) in the whole Bible against false Gospels, false doctrines, and those that preach/teach them is found in verses 8-9 where Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says that anyone angel or man that would share, spread, or in any way propagate a false gospel will be condemned to eternal damnation. Maybe it is just me but that scares the crap out of me 😨. I want to be sure the doctrine/Gospel I am sharing is accurate and True.

One final thought, Paul in v.10 makes it clear that ANYONE who seeks the appoval of man is not worthy of Preaching, Teaching, or sharing of the Gospel.  For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ. (ESV)

Today there remains an abundance of false and misleading teachings, dedicated to pleasing man and his itchy ears. Below are just a few more common ones:

1 Every Christian can and should speak in tongues and needs to in order to be saved. The Bible teaches that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not through speaking in tongues (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:30).

2 Christians can lose their salvation (Ephesians 1:4; 2:8-9; Jude 24). (See excursus 1 below for more.)

3 It is God’s will that every Christian be healthy and wealthy. Jesus’s death on the cross is for salvation from sins, not deliverance from worldly peril (Matthew 1:21). And countless faithful Christians (including Paul; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10) suffered physically.

4 Christians can “claim,” “decree,” or “speak” something into existence. This is a misreading of Romans 4:17. Humans do not have the power to manipulate God merely by speaking. Even when we pray fervently, he is sovereign and his hand is not forced.

5 Legalism. This is the idea that a lot of rules and regulations – and following them closely – will please God. Legalism says things like, “Real Christians don’t have tattoos… Real Christians never miss a church service.”

6 Hyper-grace. This is the idea that because we’re saved, we can do whatever we want and God’s okay with it. This is an abuse of the freedom God has given us (Romans 6:2).

7 Hell is not real and God is too good to send anyone there. Jesus speaks about hell as does the closing chapters of Revelation. (See 2 Thessalonians 1:9.)


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